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Espresso demand boosts sales at Starbucks

Starbucks Corp. said on Wednesday that sales at its coffee shops open at least 13 months increased 10 percent for the five weeks ended Oct. 2 due to strong demand for its espresso products.
/ Source: Reuters

Starbucks Corp. said on Wednesday that sales at its coffee shops open at least 13 months increased 10 percent for the five weeks ended Oct. 2 due to strong demand for its espresso products.

Total revenue rose 5 percent in the same period to $653 million compared to $625 million in the year-ago period, the company said in a statement, citing particularly strong sales of its Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The world’s largest coffee shop chain said its October same-store sales, a key gauge of retail performance, was expected to return to its longer-term target range of between 3 percent and 7 percent.

Analyst Dan Geiman of McAdams Wright Ragen said Starbucks’ introduction of new music titles and lunch items at its stores may have contributed to growth in September.

“It is interesting that they kind of lulled us to sleep reporting 7 percent comps over the last four months ... and then they come up with 10 percent,” Geiman said.

The company said in a statement that it had opened 1,672 net new stores worldwide as of Oct. 2 — 1,170 in the United States and 502 abroad, exceeding its 2005 target of 1,500 stores.